52 Week Cooking Challenge
Week 8 – Japanese
Chicken Katsu Curry with Sticky Japanese Rice
(Make your own Wagamama’s at home)
Curry was introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British, at a time when India was under the colonial rule of British Raj. The dish became popular and available for purchase in supermarkets and restaurants in the late 1960s. It has been adapted since its introduction to Japan, and is so widely consumed that it can be called a national dish!
Katsu curry is usually a curry sauce with rice, served with a breaded pork cutlet on top. Today we are going to use chicken rather than pork. Recently there has been a rise in the restaurant chain ‘Wagamama’s’, and in particular their curried dish ‘Chicken Katsu Curry’. Hopefully this is just as good and will save you the trip out in the colder weather.
Ingredients (Serves 3):
For the Katsu Sauce:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp medium curry powder
- 600ml chicken stock
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
For the Chicken:
- 4 x small chicken breasts
- 100g flour, seasoned with lots of salt and pepper
- 1 free-range egg, beaten lightly
- 250g panko breadcrumbs
- oil for shallow frying
For the Rice:
- 300g Basmati Rice (that right – the ingredients for rice is rice)
For the Garnish:
- Japanese Pickles (or just regular pickles)
For the Rice – Prep: 30mins…Cooking time: 30 minutes
You can of course just buy some rice…because life is too short…but if you want to make perfect sticky Japanese rice then follow these steps:
- Measure out the rice and put it into a deep sauce-pan or use a bowl at this stage. Add plenty of water to the pan/bowl then gently stir and mix the rice with your hand. Pour the water away, keeping the rice in the pan/bowl with your hand when the water becomes cloudy with starch. Repeat this step up to 3-5 times or until the water becomes clear. After washing the rice soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the rice and 360ml of water to your sauce pan and put on the stove at maximum heat until the water boils. Once the water boils, turn down the heat to minimum and let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes. (Make sure to keep the lid on the sauce pan at all times).
- Once it has simmered, remove the sauce pan from the stove and leave the rice to steam for a further 10-15 minutes for authentic Japanese stickiness.
For the Sauce – Prep: 1mins…Cooking time: 30 minutes
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and sweat slowly for 10 minutes with the lid on, giving the odd stir, until softened and starting to caramelise.
- Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the stock until combined (do this gradually to avoid getting lumps).
- Add the sugar, soy sauce and bay leaf and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, so the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency.
- Add the garam masala, then pass the sauce through a sieve (unless you prefer a chunky sauce).
For the Chicken – Prep: 0mins…Cooking time: 5 minutes
- Hit the chicken with a meat mallet to tenderise/flatten the meat. We put cling film over the top and bottom to avoid mess.
- Lay the seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
- Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, slice the chicken diagonally and serve with the sauce drizzled over, rice and alongside pickles and salad. We think it tastes pretty similar to the one that Wagamama’s has became famous for…and its half the price…so technically it’s better.